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    Sale 2268

    Fine Chinese Art from the Arthur M. Sackler Collections

    18 March 2009, New York, Rockefeller Plaza

  • Lot 209

    A BRONZE RITUAL FOOD VESSEL, GUI

    EARLY WESTERN ZHOU DYNASTY, 10TH CENTURY BC

    Price Realised  

    A BRONZE RITUAL FOOD VESSEL, GUI
    EARLY WESTERN ZHOU DYNASTY, 10TH CENTURY BC
    The bombé body cast in low rounded relief with a band of eight dragons set between bow-string borders and divided into four pairs by a small animal mask on each side and the pair of C-scroll handles issuing from animal heads and with a tab pendent from the bottom cast with the claws and tail feathers of a bird, with a similar band of pairs of dragons confronted on a stylized mask encircling the slightly flared foot, the interior cast with a three-character inscription, with a mottled pale greenish-grey patina and some ferrous and malachite encrustation
    12 3/16 in. (31 cm.) across handles


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    The inscription may be read as a dedication to X Fu Gui.

    This vessel is very similar to another gui in the Sackler Collections, also illustrated and discussed by Jessica Rawson, Western Zhou Ritual Bronzes from the Arthur M. Sackler Collections, 1990, pp. 414-45, no. 51. The author refers to these gui as one of the more common type during the early Western Zhou and goes on to list five other provenanced examples, p. 415. A variation on the decoration can be seen on another early Western Zhou gui with vertically ribbed, rather than plain body below the dragon band, illustrated in Catalogue to the Special Exhibition of Grain Vessels of the Shang and Chou Dynasties, National Palace Museum, Taipei, 1985, pp. 248-9, pl. 39.

    The result of Oxford thermoluminescence test no. 366m78 is consistent with the dating of this lot.

    Provenance

    J.T. Tai & Co., New York, 1971.


    Literature

    N. Barnard and Cheung Kwong-yue, Rubbings and Hand Copies of Bronze Inscriptions in Chinese, Japanese, European, American and Australasian Collections, Taipei, 1978, no. 1471.
    Hayashi Minao, In Shu jidai seidoki no kenkyu (In Shu seidoki soran ichi), Tokyo, 1984, vol. 2, pl. 97, gui, no. 136.
    J. Rawson, Western Zhou Ritual Bronzes from the Arthur M. Sackler Collections, vol. IIB, The Arthur M. Sackler Foundation, 1990, pp. 410-13, no. 50.